LS: Cong says Delhi amendment bill takes away city govt rights; BJP claims it clears mismanagement

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New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) The Congress on Monday dubbed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 'unconstitutional', and said it takes away certain rights of the city government which were given under a constitutional amendment, a charge rejected by the BJP.

Initiating the debate in Lok Sabha on the bill, Congress MP Manish Tewari said the measure is contrary to what the then Union Home Minister L K Advani had perceived some 18 years ago.

He said while the idea was to give the Delhi government rights to make laws on all issues except public order, police and land, the bill takes that away.

Tewari was of the view that the bill seeks to prevent the city government from implementing the decisions taken by the legislative assembly.

'How can you divorce a decision from its implementation,' he asked.

BJP's Meenakashi Lekhi, who represents the New Delhi seat in Lok Sabha, said the bill seeks to rectify the alleged mismanagement of Delhi and blamed both the Congress and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party for it.

She maintained that the Constitution is not federal but quasi-federal in nature where the Centre's say cannot be ignored.

Lekhi said the Congress could have given full statehood to Delhi if it wanted.

The BJP MP also used the opportunity to hit out at the city government, saying when people were dying in Delhi during the coronavirus pandemic, the chief minister did not step out of his house.

She said the Union home minister had to intervene to bring the situation under control.

Lekhi also alleged that during the Republic Day violence, DTC buses were not provided to Delhi Police even though there is an agreement between the police and the transport corporation.

The BJP member claimed that there are still several areas in Delhi where piped water is not available and a 'tanker mafia' operates. She said those who are unwilling to pay money do not get water supplied by tankers.

Lekhi added that powers given to various bodies in Delhi ensure a balance, and the AAP government would not be able to stop the BJP from taking decisions in the interest of the people. PTI NAB IJT